Machiavelli Virtue

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Machiavelli’s Advice and its Effectiveness on Modern Politics In “The Qualities of the Prince,” Niccolò Machiavelli argues that although a prince would ideally want to be characterized as possessing the qualities of virtue and righteousness, he must also be willing to resort to actions that are immoral or deceitful in order to maintain power. Although having qualities of vice might damage the reputation of a leader temporarily, Machiavelli argues that it will lead to the rise and success of a leader in the long run. For instance, he supports the negative reputation that a leader might get from being cruel, miserly, and untruthful over the positive reputation that a leader might get from being generous, kind and trustworthy. Despite Machiavelli …show more content…
Although many would believe that a generous leader would be loved and respected by his subjects, Machiavelli argues that it is also generates unfulfillable expectations, which will eventually lead to the downfall of a leader. For example, he states that “there is nothing that uses itself up faster than generosity, for as you employ it you lose the means of employing it, and you become either poor or despised or, in order to escape poverty, rapacious and hated” (226). Although being recognized as a miser will slightly damage the reputation of a leader, Machiavelli claims that being well prepared in times of economic tension will not only save the leader from taking money and property from citizens and making them despise him, but will also reinforce his reputation of being a responsible …show more content…
He asserts that people are easily deceived and manipulated, and that leaders should do whatever it takes to maintain control, even if it means blatantly lying to their subjects. Machiavelli states that “men in general judge more by their eyes than their hands; for everyone can see but few can feel. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few perceive what you are” (231) arguing that what matters is not what a leader’s qualities really are, but rather, what a leaders qualities appear to be. For instance, even if a leader might have the qualities of cowardice and rapaciousness, he must appear to be courageous and generous to his people. Because of this, Machiavelli supports a leader’s decision in using deceit in order to maintain control. As long as a leader is perceived as a paragon of righteousness and morality, he will be able to maintain

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